Jae Crowder requested an apology from J.R. Smith, who whacked Crowder in the head during Game 4 of last year’s Cavaliers-Celtics first-round series.
It didn’t come when the teams met last night.
“Yeah, he might want to wait on that. He can hold his breath for it, though,” Smith said after the Cavaliers defeated the Celtics 89-77 at TD Garden. “I’ll give it to him sooner or later.”
In true Smith fashion, he didn’t pull any punches — no pun intended — when asked why he’s not going to patch things up with Crowder.
“Because it wasn’t intentional like they’re trying to make it seem,” he said. “When you play chippy, chippy things are going to happen. It’s fine. It is what it is. It’s pretty ballsy though to ask for an apology from another man.”
Well then. I guess Crowder must wait.
The NBA obviously disagreed with Smith’s interpretation, suspending Smith two games. That was the right call. While Crowder showed his toughness throughout the series, Smith crossed into dirty territory.
That doesn’t mean Smith owes Crowder an apology. Like Smith, I was surprised Crowder openly requested one.
But Smith ought to realize this will probably bring only more gritty play from Crowder when these teams next play.